Lansing — Michigan's emergency loan board approved Kevyn Orr as Detroit's emergency manager after a 15-minute videoconference question-and-answer session with the Washington D.C. attorney from the board meeting room in the state Treasury building.
The three-member board consists of State Treasurer Andy Dillon, Budget Director John Nixon and Steve Arwood, director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
"From time to time, you have a call to action," Orr told the board.
Orr said he will resign from his law firm, Jones Day, move to Detroit and start on the job March 25. Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said Orr will begin his emergency financial manager job on March 25 and then becomes emergency manager under Public Act 436 on March 28 when the new law takes effect.
He'll then be a "client only" to avoid a conflict of interests, since Jones Day will act as the state and city's law firm assisting with restructuring.
Dillon said Orr will be paid $275,000 a year and have an "open-ended" contract under the new emergency manager law taking effect this month. But he said he believes 18 months should be enough time for Orr to fix the city's finances.
"I think we're lucky to get him for that," Dillon said. "He's taking a tremendous pay cut."
Dillon said lawmakers eventually could be asked to kick in state funds to help Detroit but the city is OK through June.
"Cash isn't the impediment today," Dillon said. "Restructuring is the biggest issue."
Activist Robert Davis, the only audience member to make a comment prior to the board's vote, said he expects an injunction hearing Friday morning in Ingham County Circuit Court. Davis said he's filed a claim that the state violated the open meetings law by not giving 18 hours notice of the loan board meeting.
Davis said the board's decision "won't stand."